Transformative Experiences + Intentional Friendships

Photo Jan 16, 5 48 07 PMPhoto by By Rebecca Studios

The biggest education I have received from doing the bucket list is not in places I’ve visited or things I’ve done, it has been the transformative nature of these experiences and the friendships it has created. I reflect on that today because the very first transformative experience I ever had was meeting Yolanda King, daughter of Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King, Jr. I spent a brisk, fall night amid fellow undergrads in an auditorium watching the stage lights flash and hearing police sirens as her voice rang through the crowd, telling stories of the people whose declarations begged to be heard and who among them listened, linked arms and who stood next to them. This moment forever changed my life and taught me to be open to people who were there to challenge and empower me. It taught me how to be a real friend.

Some of the very closest people in my life are part of it because of the Bucket List but more so because I was ready to receive those intentional friendships. I love smart, bold, good-hearted, bossy, shamelessly inviting people – these are my people, the ones who have made my life wonderful and enriched every single post you get to read every day. For the love of sharing, if it’s on your personal growth bucket list to find these kinds of connections, let me tell you what my friends have taught me:

  • Be the kind of friend who sees past limitations, who makes others feel courageous; who makes them better, more compassionate human beings – who doesn’t allow another to stand alone.
  • Be the kind of friend that always shows up and supports others and even fights for them; one that is brutally honest and also accepts the undertaking of protecting their heart.
  • Be the kind of friend that will let someone else in, and help them understand you by giving your grief, struggle and time; that gives others a place of solace and home.
  • Be the kind of friend who believes in another’s dreams when they have moments of doubt and carries their burden when they can’t.
  • Be the kind of friend who is intentional and never makes them feel less than they are, even at their full, whole, unapologetic selves; the friend who is interested in them and helps build foundations.
  • Be the kind of friend who wants to change the world, start a revolution and allows others to see the world differently than you even thought possible, who helps others believe in making a difference and in everyday sorts of magic.
  • Be the kind of friend who looks to befriend people smarter than you, who you can learn from, collaborate with and aspire to be like – the kind you can run to.
  • Be the kind of friend who shares food, invites others along, asks about another’s day and give hugs. Be the friend who makes other’s feel like friendship doesn’t have to be work.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

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